What Businesses Should Know About Service Animals: A Guide
Many people are confused about what service animals are, or what rights people using service animals have under Americans with Disabilities Act. This document is intended to help businesses understand what obligations they have to customers and members of the public who have service animals under law.
Anonymous asked: Any thoughts on Bob Dole’s recent Senate appearance to ask for the passing to the UN Disability Treaty?
I wish I could say that I was surprised that the Senate didn’t do the right thing despite the appearance and support of a nearly 90-year-old Bob Dole who not only dedicated his life to public service, but did so with significant disabilities because of the fact that he very nearly gave up his life fighting for this country in World War II.
I wish I could say that I was surprised, but I’m not. Nothing surprises me anymore about the Senate or the House, particularly in this 112th Congress. I’m hoping that enough was done in November to, for a lack of a better term, flush the waste out of the Capitol so that the 113th Congress can get some good things done for our country.
It just makes me angry now. It makes me angry that these are our representatives. It makes me angry that 38 United States Senators voted against ratifying a treaty that was basically an international version of our own American With Disabilities Act. The United Nations modeled the treaty after the ADA in order to urge people around the world to take care of and no discriminate against people with disabilities. And after frail, wheelchair bound Bob Dole made an appearance in support of the treaty’s ratification, he was wheeled out of the Senate chamber and 38 American Senators said no.
Thirty-eight American Senators opposed that treaty while Arizona Senator John McCain, who spent nearly six years being tortured in a North Vietnamese prison and can’t even raise his arm into the air to be recognized by the presiding officer, sat in that chamber. I can’t even imagine how Senator McCain can caucus with those Senators in the future and work together with them. I can’t understand it.
38. Thirty-eight Senators rejected that treaty while Hawaii’s Senator Daniel Inouye was in the chamber. Senator Inouye is 88 years old and disabled. Do you know why Senator Inouye is disabled? BECAUSE HE LEFT HIS ARM ON A HILLSIDE IN ITALY FIGHTING FOR HIS COUNTRY. That was after he had already been shot in the stomach attacking a German bunker. A German grenade blew his right arm off of his body as Inouye prepared to toss his own grenade. Do you know what happened when Daniel Inouye’s arm was blown off of his body? He reached down with the arm he had left, pulled the grenade that he was about to throw out of the closed hand of his severed right arm, and then he finished the job that he had started, tossed the grenade at the Germans, and kept shooting with the arm he had left until he passed out. Thirty-eight of Senator Inouye’s colleagues rejected an international treaty protecting the rights of people like Inouye as he sat there.
It’s shameful. After the vote, John Kerry (another American who served his country and was wounded in combat, by the way) said it was “one of the saddest days I’ve seen in almost 28 years in the Senate and it needs to be a wake-up call about a broken institution that’s letting down the American people.” I couldn’t agree more with Senator Kerry except for one thing: rejecting this treaty lets down the people of the world — 700 million of whom are disabled.
Thirty-eight United States Senators should be ashamed of themselves and their constituents should be disgusted by their representation. Shame on you, Lamar Alexander of Tennessee, Roy Blunt of Missouri, John Boozman of Arkansas, Richard Burr of North Carolina, Saxby Chambliss of Georgia, Dan Coats of Indiana, Tom Coburn of Oklahoma, Thad Cochran of Mississippi, Bob Corker of Tennessee, John Cornyn of Texas, Mike Crapo of Idaho, Jim DeMint of South Carolina, Mike Enzi of Wyoming, Lindsey Graham of South Carolina, Chuck Grassley of Iowa, Orrin Hatch of Utah, Dean Heller of Nevada, John Hoeven of North Dakota, Kay Bailey Hutchison of Texas, Jim Inhofe of Oklahoma, Johnny Isakson of Georgia, Mike Johanns of Nebraska, Ron Johnson of Wisconsin, Jon Kyl of Arizona, Mike Lee of Utah (who took the lead in opposing the treaty’s ratification), Mitch McConnell of Kentucky, Jerry Moran of Kansas, Rand Paul of Kentucky, Rob Portman of Ohio, Jim Risch of Idaho, Pat Roberts of Kansas, Marco Rubio of Florida, Jeff Sessions of Alabama, Richard Shelby of Alabama, John Thune of South Dakota, Pat Toomey of Pennsylvania, David Vitter of Louisiana, and Roger Wicker of Mississippi. If I were running the DSCC, I would target all 38 of you in your next campaigns and lay your vote for the rejection of this treaty’s ratification on your doorstep every night so that you step in it every morning and drag it with you every time that you speak to a veterans organization or a group of people with disabilities or a senior citizen. I’d add “go to hell”, but with the 112th Congress in charge, I’m not positive that we aren’t already there.
NC's mentally ill could face loss of homes
The Justice Department is really mad at North Carolina for not providing any meaningful amount of housing for its mentally ill residents outside of what the Federal Government already provides. To show they mean business, they’re threatening to sue the state and talking big, like saying its complete and utter disregard for the population is in violation of the Americans With Disabilities Act. The state had tried addressing the problem in 2001 when they passed sweeping reform that was supposed to put more needy individuals in better (or any) care, but the bill’s actual effects were to shutter state-run services and shove residents into for-profit homes who charged absurd prices for terrible care. Because the care of thousands rests in the hands of the state legislature taking positive action, naturally, North Carolinians are panicking.
Milton Hershey School Faces Lawsuit After Allegedly Denying Admission to HIV Positive Boy
Thank you, Hershey for giving me my first laugh of the morning.
How the FUCK did you figure that you were not going to get sued? You get the award for worst legal counsel ever.
Thank you do the AIDS Law Project for taking the time to remind them about the ADA.
So I’m currently fighting with my school about my right to keep Conroy with me as my service animal. He was prescribed to me by my psychiatrist as a mental health service animal, to help alleviate and ease symptoms I have with my various disabilities. Problem is I’m researching ADA regulations, as well as Fair Housing Act stuff, and they don’t mention anything about service cats even though I KNOW they’re a thing, and people keep telling me that I’m protected even though Conroy isn’t a dog. The only indicator I’ve seen is that in 2011, the ADA specified that service animal means a dog or a miniature horse, but that’s all.
Does anyone have any experiences with having a service cat and fighting for accommodation and the ability to keep the cat with them in housing? It would be especially helpful if someone had experiences with this on a college campus and could share any tips or advice for me. From what I can tell, this is definitely some sort of discrimination, but I’m not looking to sue. Honestly I just want to be able to keep my cat with me…
Thanks in advance. <3 Please signal boost if you can, too.
Emily's in da House! (Okay, on its Lawn...)
Barack Obama is on TV right now, talking about jobs (or the lack thereof), and I’m getting annoyed. Spending money we don’t have on construction jobs isn’t right for America, and it certainly isn’t going to help my employment status. If I had a canine companion, maybe I could order him to dig holes for me. But alas, I’m more of a cat person.
I guess political debate is a bit too heavy for our second encounter, so I’ll just tell you about my trip to the White House. I had a close call in 2004. That Fall I was interning at the National Council on Disability and studying through The Washington Center. We got an e-mail saying 200 students were going to be selected via lottery to attend a discussion with White House officials. My name got selected, and my friend Jason (also selected) and I teased his roommate (not selected) relentlessly. Until we found out the discussion was in the Executive Office Building. At least we got to see where Nixon resigned…
Last year I applied to go to an invitation-only conference sponsored by the National Council on Disability, which happened to coincide with the 20th Anniversary of the Signing of the ADA. Obama planned to sign Executive Orders that asked federal agencies to employ more people with disabilities, and invited conference attendees to witness the signing. Hell yes!
My sister is perhaps the staunchest Republican I know, and, not an Obama fan at all, she schemed about how I could run over Obama’s toe. Then she wondered if the Secret Service and NSA were checking out attendees and listening in on our telephone conversations. ”Hey, Em,” she said. ”Did you get any lip BALM?! Don’t forget to pack your lip BALM when you go to the WHITE HOUSE!” ”No,” I replied, “my lips are fine.” ”Okay, but remember to check out what kind of FERTILIZER they use in the WHITE HOUSE garden!” Needless to say, no one cared. Only the TSA thinks people in wheelchairs are a threat.
The line around the White House gate was huge, and it was hot. I knew we were going to be on the lawn, and I fantasized about what garden party delicacies we would find inside. I was hoping for some sort of berry-infused punch and cucumber sandwiches. The line slowly surged forward, but started rolling more quickly, a lot like the beads of sweat all over my body. Three security checkpoints later, I was offered a cone cup of water. Um… way to cut the budget?!
Seating was open, and I was in the aisle, in the second row of wheelchairs. Three seats away were Marlee Matlin and Robert David Hall. It was a terrific seat, but there were about 50 wheelchair users penned in by other wheelchairs. If anyone had brought a “balm,” we’d have been hosed. After about 45 minutes of waiting, some people in the crowd decided they needed to use the facilities. If they were in the middle, the security officers had to clear a path out. Any poor schleps who couldn’t hold it lost their position for good.
This led to an interesting predicament for women. Men can piss in a portable urinal almost at will, but women need a stall. The only restroom stall large enough for a power wheelchair was inside the White House. Women could give up their spot for a peek inside the White House or stay put. I kept my spot.
I think it was worth it. I was about 30 feet away from the President and performers including Marlee Matlin, Patty LaBelle, and the guy who The Soloist is about. Matlin was gorgeous in person, and LaBelle rubbed salt in the already-dehydrated wound my telling us how great the White House chef is. Obama then signed the Orders.
Yet here I sit, jobless. Ach!
Quick question. Is it a violation of ADA (Americans with Disabilities Act) to deny someone extra absences as a result of a disability that limits mobility? I was told that I would be allowed the allotted 10 days, as well as any additional days with a doctor’s note. Thing is, when I’m having an especially bad day, I don’t even leave my bed. Not to see a doctor or anything. Anyways, if the school continues with this, is it a violation of ADA? How should I go about handling this?
Florida Hotel Worker Suffers Disability Discrimination
Note: Under the Americans with Disabilities Act (ADA) it’s illegal for employers to discriminate against an employee because of a medical condition, provided the employee can continue performing their work. Further, employers must provided reasonable accommodations to disabled employees to assist them in continuing their work duties.
Here’s a story about a Florida hotel worker who was illegally discriminated against for her Parkinson’s Disease. She worked as hard as she could at a number of hotels, but was repeatedly chewed out by her bosses because of her illness. Her daughter tells her story.
Anonymous Housekeeper, Various Florida Hotels (including the Best Western in Blue Water Bay pictured below)
I want everyone to know about what my mom went through all because of her ‘disability.’
First off let me tell you about my mom. She was born January of 1951. She’s Korean. She married my dad and became a citizen of the United States. She’s always worked in the service industry, whether at a restaurant or at a hotel. She’s had Parkinson’s Disease now for some time, since about 17 years ago. These stories take place mostly over the last few years and involve several hotels in the Emerald Coast (Destin) area of Florida. I remember all the details, because anything that hurts my mom I remember very well. I hate seeing my mom get hurt for any reason at all.
The first hotel, name being undisclosed, my mom worked for for about 2 years. She gave them her best, showing up for work on time and very rarely taking any time off. She worked for slightly above minimum wage for the area. She drove the 40 minutes it took to get to work every Monday to Friday, working up to 50 hours in a week sometimes. If anyone called off, she went in if she could. And all the while she was taking care of my 2 brothers and I. Not once did she complain.
She began getting sick and slowing down a bit. She had a slight problem walking, and her hands started to tremble uncontrollably. It was getting difficult for her to do things with her hands. She still tried. But it wasn’t good enough for her managers. She ended up being laid off because the management was afraid she wasn’t going to be as effective as the younger workers in the hotel.
Bring Down the Barriers—Seen and Unseen
By Rachel Adams
A colleague in a wheelchair goes into an underground passage connecting two campus buildings. Once the entrance locks behind him, he discovers that the door at the other end refuses to open with his swipe card. Although he is a vigorous man of middle age, the maintenance worker who comes to his rescue calls him Pops.
A student with a sensory-processing disorder needs to sit in the front row of class and take notes on a laptop computer, but the professor insists that laptops may be used only in the back of the room. After the student explains her situation, he announces to the entire class that he is making a “special exception” for her.
I heard these and other stories about broken elevators, stairs without handrails, and inaccessible bathrooms at a recent panel on disability and the university that I organized on campus for students, faculty, and staff from our Office of Disability Services.